JEFFERSON: Wednesday, Feb. 12, will be the 211th birthday of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, and the Greene County, Iowa, Historical Society will have a new kind of event that day to honor the president — a “Lincoln Lunch and Birthday Party” at the museum in Jefferson, beginning at 11 a.m.
Jed Magee, of Jefferson, a retired attorney and Iowa District Court judge, will lead a conversation about President Lincoln with those who want to gather for the lunch. Magee has had a fascination since his junior high school student years in Dunkerton, Iowa, about the life, career and legacy of Lincoln. After his college and law school years at the University of Iowa, Magee moved to Jefferson and practiced law here for 25 years. In 1992, he was appointed a judge, moved to Charles City and worked much of north-central Iowa.
Over all those years, he amassed quite a collection about President Lincoln. It included 10 shelves full of books about Lincoln, 30 busts of Lincoln at different stages of his life, photographs (including two that are more than 100 years old), prints, paintings, and more.
As Judge Magee began retirement in 2008, and finally took full retirement in 2015, he was looking for a permanent home for most of his Lincoln collection. The Greene County Historical Society jumped at the opportunity to make it a part of the collection in its museum, which is located on the historic Lincoln Highway as it passes through Jefferson. Magee made the transfer in early 2016.
He and his wife, Betty, decided to move permanently to Jefferson this past fall and are enjoying becoming active — again — in activities in Greene County. Jed Magee was elected to the Historical Society’s board of directors at the organization’s meeting in December, and he agreed to conduct a Lincoln chat in the new special event on Feb. 12.
The lunch of soup, sandwiches, cornbread, cookies and drinks is free, and no RSVPs are necessary.